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Berkheya 02.JPG
Berkheya sp.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Berkheya

about 75

Berkheya is a genus of flowering plants in the aster family, Asteraceae, and the subfamily Carduoideae, the thistles. It is distributed in tropical Africa, especially in southern regions.[1] Of about 75 species, 71 can be found in South Africa.[2]

Most species have yellow ray florets, a few have white, and B. purpurea has light purple or mauve florets.[1]

B. purpurea is cultivated as an ornamental plant.[1] Some Berkheya are known as weeds.[3]

The genus was named in honor of the Dutch scientist and artist Johannes le Francq van Berkhey.[4]

Berkheya are associated with a variety of weevils in the genus Larinus. The tephritid fruit fly Urophora agromyzella is also found on the plants.[3]


Species include:[5][6]



  1. ^ a b c Hind, N. (2006). 568. Berkheya purpurea. Curtis's Botanical Magazine 23(4), 289-96.
  2. ^ Funk, V. A. and R. Chan. (2008). Phylogeny of the spiny African daisies (Compositae, tribe Arctotideae, subtribe Gorteriinae) based on trnL-F, ndhF, and ITS sequence data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 48(1), 47-60.
  3. ^ a b Clark, M. M. A comparison between the flower-head insect communities of South African Berkheya and European Cynareae. In: Proceedings of the VIII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds. (pp. 165-170). Istituto Sperimentale per la Vegetale, Ministero dell'Agricoltura e delle Foreste. 1990.
  4. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2017). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. Routledge. 
  5. ^ Berkheya. The Plant List.
  6. ^ Species listing: Berkheya. Red List of South African Plants. South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).